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Life Once Removed
March 2, 2014 8:53 AM   Subscribe

It's the 21st century and somehow I'm still not right without a ring on my finger? What's up with that? Artist Suzanne Heintz spends 14 years with a family - of mannequins. (warning: video halfway down the page autoplays with music)
posted by mygothlaundry (20 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

 
Having a hard time deciding if this is funny ,or sad.
posted by boilermonster at 9:26 AM on March 2 [3 favorites]


These are wonderful. I love how in after several of these, next to Heintz's exaggerated expressions, the husband looks less and less like a mannequin and more and more like a man who has simply checked out.
posted by mochapickle at 9:27 AM on March 2 [4 favorites]


I thought the video undermined the art. And the over-the-top expressions in the photos also. and 14 years seems unnecessary to make the point.
posted by mary8nne at 9:29 AM on March 2 [2 favorites]


As a permanently rejected spinster sort myself, I appreciate that she's trying to call people out on their expectations and the social shaming of being single.

"But really, what was I supposed to do? You can't just go out and buy a family. Or can you? I did. They are mannequins. The candy coated shell with nothing inside. We do all those family things, all the while capturing those Kodak Moments. Because it's not really about the journey, or a genuine human connection, when you're kids are screaming, "are we there yet?" Is it? It's about the picture in front of the sign. "Get back in the car, we got the picture. Now, let's go eat."

Bwahahahah. I like the idea of "Hah, I DID just go out and buy a family, am I acceptable to you now?" and that attitude. Whatever shoves it in those people's faces makes me happy.

On the other hand: JEEBUS CHRIST PLEASE TURN OFF THAT AUTOMATIC MUSIC. IT IS HORRIBLE. IT IS DROWNING OUT MY BRAIN. IT MADE ME WANT TO CLICK AWAY AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. Which is probably not what she was hoping for. I might have been interested in listening to the video, but THAT DAMN MUSIC.
posted by jenfullmoon at 9:32 AM on March 2 [1 favorite]


Hmmm... I was thinking the over-the-top expressions are part of her point. How many of us have friends in awful marriages who insist they're happy, even joyful, when everyone's pretty miserable? We see this in such a performative way on Facebook and in Christmas cards.
posted by mochapickle at 9:32 AM on March 2 [6 favorites]


1. It just gets creepier and creepier.

2. Clark Kent

3. something, something, realdoll.
posted by HuronBob at 9:34 AM on March 2


Reading further on the site... "We love & obey the formatted image of a well-lived life. So deeply ingrained is that strange auto-grin we put on when a camera is present. Do we live our lives with a keen awareness of how it feels, or just how it looks?"
posted by mochapickle at 9:39 AM on March 2


See also: My Knitted Boyfriend (previously).
posted by orange swan at 9:41 AM on March 2 [1 favorite]


How many of us have friends in awful marriages who insist they're happy, even joyful, when everyone's pretty miserable? We see this in such a performative way on Facebook and in Christmas cards.

Oh yeah. There is someone on my Facebook page whose profile picture is one of herself and her son hugging. But I know they're not in touch at all right now — when he gave me his newest number awhile back he told me I wasn't to give it to her. And I bet a lot of Facebook accounts have a backstage story that would shock those who just see the highlight reel.
posted by orange swan at 9:55 AM on March 2 [2 favorites]


She should organize bus tours with some of those dudes who dress up their RealDolls. The humans should keep their distance from each other, but the mannequins and dolls might enjoy mingling.
posted by b1tr0t at 10:36 AM on March 2 [4 favorites]


I went to Paris with my abuser when we were still together and BOY these pictures really really resonated with me, particularly because the husband mannequin looks a lot like him.

It's interesting because I felt more like the empty shell when I was with him (particularly in Paris which was a low point) but these photos helped me reflect on how I am and always was the one who is alive. I'm not pouring all that life into a shell of a man who will never love me back any longer. I have the capacity to change and grow and to be happy. I'm not trapped with a shell of a person who does not know how to love any longer!

This was really wonderful and spoke to me a lot as a woman and an abuse survivor. I loved it. Thanks for sharing.
posted by sockermom at 11:10 AM on March 2 [8 favorites]


I'm just gonna leave this here...
posted by ninazer0 at 2:09 PM on March 2


I think Suzanne Heintz and I could be really good friends.
posted by Kerasia at 4:20 PM on March 2 [1 favorite]


So life-like.
posted by Pudhoho at 6:30 PM on March 2


Metafilter: 14 years seems unnecessary to make the point.
posted by CynicalKnight at 7:01 PM on March 2 [1 favorite]


a rarely-seen dude in my rural area drives a gorgeous late-50s chevy with a full-size marilyn monroe doll in the right front seat, dressed in a cheerleader outfit. the time i queried him, he said "that's my dumb blonde." what he and marilyn do in private, i don't want to know.
posted by bruce at 7:13 PM on March 2


Wow, she flew them to Paris. Families are expensive.
posted by surplus at 11:29 PM on March 2


The more I've looked at this, the more I keep thinking about what we define as normal. Like, we seem to have set a certain semi mythical mid 20th century ideal as, well, ideal. And what's interesting about that to me is that I'm fifty now and I only have very dim, fragmentary memories of that world - it was really gone before I was even in preK. Suzanne Heintz looks to be about, oh, ten or so years younger than me, so she definitely never lived in that world but here she is, using it as vernacular we all understand for the perfect life, the platonic ideal family. I think that's kind of interesting and says a lot about our relationship with time. I don't think that you found people in, say, 1964, using the world of 1905 as an ideal - it's possible for us first because of mass media, but the fact that the images we're pulling to illustrate this are from advertising is an interesting note on our relationship with that mass media. Anyway. I haven't fully fleshed this idea out yet but I thought it was interesting and also I just liked the sheer absurdity of the whole project.
posted by mygothlaundry at 4:40 AM on March 3 [2 favorites]


Normally I find statement pieces like this so cliche, but this is fabulous.
posted by St. Peepsburg at 7:43 AM on March 3


"But really, what was I supposed to do? You can't just go out and buy a family. Or can you? I did. They are mannequins.
Why stop at a family of mannequins? I want a tribe of mannequins, my own army of mannequins! Mostly so I can do something like this ...
posted by octobersurprise at 9:56 AM on March 3


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